The Greater Peoria Honor Flight is preparing to take twenty WWII veterans to see the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C.
One of them, Bob Shaver, 91, still remembers the invasion of Normandy like it was yesterday.
“I don’t know how you could ever forget it,” said Shaver.
He also recalls the advice his brother gave him when he decided to join the military at nineteen years of age.
“He said ‘Bob if you decide to go in the service join the Navy. You’ll have a warm place to sleep and hot food and showers and the whole thing’. However, it didn’t turn out like that” Shaver said.
Shaver boarded the Queen Elizabeth, which had been converted into a troop ship. 16,000 others joined him on that ship as they sailed for Europe.
That invasion is more commonly referred to D-Day, the largest seaboard in history.
Shaver’s unit waited in the harbor on the deck of the SS Wheelock and watched the first units storm the beaches.
The Allies estimated more than 10,000 men lost their lives in the invasion.
“We stood there and watched all of the carnage,” Shaver said.
When finally called to the beach, Shaver was put to work fixing boats, Central Illinois Proud reported.
He says that he spends every day since then feeling like he’s lucky to be alive.
His son will escort him on the flight.